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Our Gastroenterology Blog

Posts for: April, 2018

By Melvin D. Bullock MD
April 23, 2018
Tags: Abdominal Pain  

What your gastroenterologist in Roswell, Suwanee, and Atlanta wants you to know about Abdominal Painabdominal pain

Abdominal pain can strike without warning, and when it does, it can keep you from enjoying your life. So, what’s causing your abdominal pain? Should you see a doctor? These are both excellent questions. Dr. Melvin Bullock wants to share the facts about abdominal pain and when you need to seek out your gastroenterologist. He has three convenient office locations in Roswell, Suwanee, and Atlanta, GA, to help you feel better.

Abdominal pain can be acute, chronic, or progressive. The sudden onset of acute abdominal pain symptoms can be caused by:

  • Appendicitis, cystitis, or diverticulitis
  • Bladder or kidney infection or kidney stones
  • Pancreatitis or peritonitis
  • Urinary tract infection or gastroenteritis

Causes of chronic, recurrent abdominal pain include:

  • Celiac disease or gastritis
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Hiatal or inguinal hernia
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Peptic ulcer or ulcerative colitis

Progressive abdominal pain that gets worse over time can be caused by:

  • Crohn’s disease or hepatitis
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Cancers including kidney, pancreatic, stomach, gallbladder, or liver

These are just a few of the common causes of abdominal pain. There are many others. It’s important to know when to seek out professional help from your gastroenterologist. Make an appointment with your doctor if you experience:

  • Severe pain or fever
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Bloody stools
  • Abdominal swelling or tenderness to touch
  • Yellowing skin

Dr. Bullock may suggest several screening methods to determine the cause of your abdominal pain. Common recommended procedures include an endoscopy, colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or abdominal ultrasound.

Abdominal pain can indicate a serious medical condition. That’s why it’s important to seek out medical care from your gastroenterologist. Early diagnosis results in early treatment which can lead to a better outcome. For more information about abdominal pain and other gastroenterology issues, call Dr. Bullock, with offices in Roswell, Suwanee, and Atlanta, GA. Call today!

Could your frequent bouts of diarrhea and abdominal pain be signs of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)? Roswell, GA, gastroenterologist Dr. ibsMelvin Bullock discusses the disorder and shares information about treatment options.

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

IBS affects an estimated 25 to 45 million people in the U.S., many of them women, according to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. The disorder affects the large bowel and causes a variety of unpleasant symptoms including:

  • Gas
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty emptying your bowels completely
  • Bloating
  • Cramps
  • Fatigue

Pain and cramping can often be relieved by having a bowel movement. Unfortunately, the urge to go often happens quickly, forcing IBS suffers to familiarize themselves with the locations of public restrooms everywhere they go. Some people only experience diarrhea or constipation, while others deal with alternating bouts of both diarrhea and constipation.

If you have IBS, you may find that your symptoms are worse after you eat certain foods. Eating large meals may also trigger cramps, gas, and diarrhea.

What causes IBS?

Although the cause of IBS often isn't known, you may be more likely to develop the disorder if:

  • You are female: Hormones appear to play a role in IBS.
  • Other family members have IBS: The disorder tends to run in some families.
  • You had an infection that caused severe diarrhea: Even one serious gastrointestinal infection in the past can increase your risk of IBS.
  • You feel stressed: IBS seems to occur more frequently in people who report feeling stressed. You may also be more likely to develop the disorder if you suffer from a mental health disorder or experienced a traumatic event at some point in your life.

What can I do about IBS symptoms?

There are a few steps you can take on your own to reduce your symptoms, including avoiding foods that trigger your symptoms, staying away from foods that are known to produce gas, exercising regularly, using fiber supplements and reducing stress.

If your symptoms are severe or affect the quality of your life, you may want to visit our Roswell office. In addition to offering advice that will help you manage the disorder, Dr. Bullock may also recommend certain medications that will control pain and bloating, reduce diarrhea and constipation, and help you pass stool more easily.

Help is available for your uncomfortable IBS symptoms. Call Roswell, GA, gastroenterologist Dr. Melvin Bullock at (770) 442-5882 to schedule your appointment.